Grave-tober 14 – Mary Dorr and the Frond Carver of Medway

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October 14, 2018 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)



In Memory of

Mrs Mary Dorr, Relict

of Revd Jofseph

Dorr who died Apl

ye 9th 1776 in ye 77th

year of her age.

Duft thou art and unto duft

fhalt thou return………..

Mary Dorr‘s remains and marker can be found in the Old Mendon Cemetery in Mendon, Massachusetts, a small, mostly agricultural town in southern Worcester County.  If you’re in the area, it is a picturesque spot – there’s even a small Quaker cemetery nearby, though since they rejected placing gravestones, there’s not much to see here.

Mary Dorr’s marker is notable not just for the overabundance of teeth, but for its carver Joseph Barbour Jr., “the Frond Carver of Medway”.  Like William Young, Barbour was a part-time stone-carver who produced a rather idiosyncratic set of stones in the late 18th century.

Barbour produced several different types of stones, each unusual:


A very stylized soul effigy


A writhing plant


A stylized skull with multiple rows of teeth

Call of Cthulhu Keepers, I suspect, will find the plant-topped markers the most interesting…

For more information on Barbour, see Joseph Barbour Jr.: The Frond Carver of Medway by Michael Cornish in Markers II.

(Mary Dorr was the daughter of Rev. Grindall Rawson, whose marker in the same cemetery bears a rather jaunty portrait of the minister, as noted by Harriette Forbes and others.)


Rev. Grindall Rawson


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